Integration is not enough! 

Integration is not enough!

Sometimes you ask us the question of how Skybro Digital Sky differs from other electronic visibility and collision avoidance solutions available on the market. Answers to this question can be provided on many levels because there are many hardware and software solutions that solve the same or similar problems to some extent. Comparisons can be made by analyzing the features of the same type of solution, for example, program vs. program, and then we talk about a functional comparison, just like comparing one apple to another apple. In this example, we can compare size, taste, color, shelf life, and in the case of programs, functionality, price, availability, and reliability. When comparing hardware solutions to software ones, we should do it in the context of fulfilling the intended purpose for the user. In the case of electronic visibility solutions, this could involve determining the positions of different users in airspace, just as we can compare an apple to a pear in the context of satisfying hunger. A comparison of different electronic visibility systems can be explored here

The following description will be a concise analysis of different solutions and approaches to making users visible during aerial operations. For the Skybro team, the most crucial aspect has always been the real impact on the surrounding aviation space. Real, meaning bringing clear, unambiguous, and significant benefits. We did not want to be just another solution that does something interesting. Therefore, we will not refer to solutions like Flightradar, Flightaware or ADSB-Exchange because, in our assessment, they have little value for operational activities. They show traffic, trends in positional changes, and aircraft types but do not offer an adequate level of reliability in collision avoidance. Of course, on the other hand, it should be mentioned that they offer a lot of additional functionalities for global flight analysis. Another type of currently used applications, mainly by pilots of airplanes, helicopters, and gyrocopters, such as Garmin Pilot, ForeFlight, SkyDemon, or EasyVFR, are solutions whose main function is aviation navigation and flight planning. These tasks are one of the fundamentals of preparing and safely executing aerial operations. However, in this text, I would like to focus on applications that visualize the movement of aircraft because they allow pilots of various flying devices to understand the utilization of airspace and make informed decisions to prevent dangerous situations or collisions.

In the realm of applications offering electronic visibility, we find ourselves on the battlefield alongside our colleagues and fellow pilots from SafeSky. Together with this experienced team (they in their application, we in ours), we bring more and more airspace users to light and integrate with the aforementioned aviation navigation providers. It is decidedly most beneficial for the pilot to see the current traffic overlaid on an aviation map and, additionally, in relation to the executed and planned route. The visualization of user traffic is based on our own data (from the application) and data from aviation transponders, ADS-B, ADS-L, OGN, FLARM, or FANET systems. However, this is not enough! Unfortunately, every day in airspace, we may encounter aircraft that do not have any of the aforementioned systems. Why? There are undoubtedly many answers, but the main reasons include the lack of a requirement to use them (in uncontrolled airspace) or a deliberate failure to establish communication, despite having the necessary equipment on board the aircraft. There is at least one more significant technical reason, and that is the lack of communication with a ground-based station, making it impossible for the user to transmit a signal even if they wanted to.

Therefore, in Skybro Digital Sky, in addition to integrating with various systems used by pilots, we have implemented a mechanism for generating reports. This mechanism is well known from the Waze App for drivers, where road users share information about traffic jams, police checkpoints, or other events. The difference is that in the case of Digital Sky, pilots, device operators, and ground aviation personnel (airport managers, air traffic controllers) can inform other users about observed and electronically invisible traffic, runway or airspace occupancy, or other significant events, increasing our collective safety. The goal is more crucial than in the mentioned road application – life, health, protection of equipment, and support for the pursuit of our passions. Creating reports can be done manually, by clicking on the appropriate icon (in some cases also specifying the time), or automatically. The latter mainly applies to exceptional weather phenomena. Of course, creating reports by a pilot during flight requires vigilance and caution to avoid creating a dangerous situation. However, it is precisely the reporting system that enables other pilots not only to familiarize themselves with uncharted traffic but also with other phenomena and events that are operationally relevant.

By using Skybro Digital Sky, you contribute to creating a safe airspace with us, increasing your comfort and that of your loved ones.